Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Fresh oysters with sauce pauvre homme

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 2
From Saturday Kitchen


  1. Open the oysters carefully with an oyster knife and remove from the shell. Place them into a bowl with the juices.

  2. Wash the shells under cold water and dry. Place the oysters back into the shell. Strain the juices through a fine sieve and pour back over the oysters.

  3. To make the sauce (Pauvre Homme), place the red wine vinegar, bay leaf and thyme into a pan and reduce until almost all the contents are evaporated.

  4. Add the port and reduce again until it forms a sticky syrup.

  5. Add the red wine and bring to the boil then immediately remove from the heat and allow to cool. To finish the sauce add the chopped shallots and chopped chives.

  6. To serve, lay the oysters, in their shells, on a platter with crushed ice. Serve the sauce, lemon, brown bread and butter on the side.


  • 12 oysters (Claires, but you can use any)

For the sauce (Pauvre Homme)

  • 150ml/5fl oz red wine
  • 65ml/2½fl oz port
  • 30ml/1fl oz red wine vinegar
  • ½ bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 banana shallot, chopped
  • 1 tsp chives, chopped

To serve

  • brown bread and butter
  • 2 x ½ lemon, in muslin
  • For this recipe you will need an oyster knife and a large presentation platter.

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Fresh oysters with sauce pauvre homme

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